how to choose the best pool cover pump

Unfortunately, winter exists. Sure, it doesn’t exactly excite any new pool owner to picture the teeth-chattering months when our swimsuits get pushed to the back of the closet. Even less exciting is to picture rainwater falling into what is supposed to be the site of sunshine, floaties, and good vibrations—let alone debris like leaves, twigs, and dirt. So we cover our pools for the season. But here’s some extra bad news: without a cover pump, the result would be the same. Trust me, I’m bummed about it, too.

From a more temperate climate, like Florida or California? You’re lucky, but not exempt. You’ll need to cover your pool during any major storm, a cover pump included. Don’t worry, we still envy you.

Thankfully, cover pumps are affordable and straightforward—but certainly not created equally. After just a few considerations such as manual versus automatic models, the water gallons per hours cleared, filter efficiency, and durability, both your pool and your wallet will be protected—no matter how dark clouds turn.

Nervously checking the weather report? The Genius IQ 800 GPH pool cover pump works and ships fast to keep your pool safe from whatever the sky has to offer. And I mean fast.

Okay, I Covered My Pool. But Why Do I Need a Cover Pump?


So you have a pool cover. That’s great. It’ll keep snow, rainwater, and/or debris from falling directly into your pool. During a storm, they’ll sit on top of your pool cover instead. But here’s the caveat: there’s a limit to how much your pool cover can bear. If left alone, it’ll eventually sink down into your pool, taking all that water and debris down with it.

Let’s talk about weight. Imagine you have a standard, medium-sized pool—that would be 600 square feet. A light storm passes through, leaving no more than half an inch of rain on your cover. This half inch of rain weighs 2.6 pounds per square foot. Multiply that by the square feet of your pool—600, in this case—and that’s a whopping 1,560 pounds. No offense to your cover, but it won’t stand a chance.

Enter the pool cover pump. This small, light device sits on top of your pool cover and sucks off that heavy water. In other words, it’s your only hope for keeping your cover secure, and essential in terms of safety, maintenance, and overall cost.

Remember, a pool cover pump is designed to displace water, not snow. You’ll want to Use a large and heavy duty brush like this 360-Degree Bristles Pool Brush, you’ll want to clear any ice that accumulates on your cover.


You might be surprised to learn that a pool cover pump also presents a different kind of protection. Your pool cover serves as a sort of safety net if a child or animal falls in. With a sagging cover, there’s a higher risk that this net will be less effective. Enough said.


Let’s say you don’t have a cover pump. Even if your pool cover doesn’t sag under all that weight, the water is going to have to go somewhere eventually. When you’re ready to open your pool back up, you’re not going to be able to lift it alone—remember, 1,560 pounds is 75% of a ton. A DIY approach might cause the debris that has accumulated onto your pool cover to fall right into the pool itself. (At that point, why cover your pool at all?) A cover pump will instead consistently dispose of that water, saving you a big job at the end of the season.


Without a pool cover pump, you’ll need the help of a professional when you’re ready to open up your pool again. If this happens to you, I suggest not comparing that invoice to how much a cover pump would’ve cost in the first place—that is, unless you enjoy feeling all-encompassing regret.

If you’re all for minimizing unnecessary expenses, it’s time to upgrade your main pool pump for one that works more thoroughly, includes a warranty, and significantly cuts down your cost of operation. The Black & Decker 2HP Energy Star Variable-Speed Pump pays itself off in energy saved in under two years.

Alright, Alright. I Get It. I Need a Cover Pump. But When?

If you don’t have a cover pump, you’ll need one as soon as possible. Remember, cover pumps aren’t just for the winter. If a storm is headed your way, you’ll really want to have one on hand. Really.

If your pool has been covered for some time without a cover pump, it may not be too late to save yourself and your pool from relative ruin. You’ll want to order a pump as quick as humanly possible. Sorry, but this is urgent.


I’m On It. How Do I Choose My Perfect Cover Pump?

This won’t take long. Cover pumps are fairly uncomplicated, but their ultimate effectiveness does vary. When buying a cover pump, you want to consider a few different features, such as whether the pump is a manual or automatic model, how many gallons per hour it can displace, how efficiently its filter operates, and its level of durability.

If you’re also looking to save energy, this Genius IQ 800 GPH pool cover pump works automatically to cut down your monthly operating costs throughout the season, and includes a one year warranty just in case.


Manual vs. Automatic Cover Pumps

This one is essential. Before buying a cover pump, you must first determine whether you’re on the market for a manual or automatic model.

You can relax: “manual” doesn’t mean you have to break out in a sweat to aid this pump’s operation. A manual cover pump has an on/off switch, and takes care of the rest. With this type of pump, you’ll want to keep an eye on your pool cover. When water builds up, you simply have to turn on the unit and let those grisly pounds disappear. Once your cover is back to its light, optimal self, you’ll need to switch the cover pump off. In exchange for your labor, manual cover pumps tend to be the most affordable option.

Not exactly jazzed by the prospect of standing in the cold to stare at your pool cover? You’ll want an automatic cover pump, which works entirely on its own. These tiny geniuses can detect when water is building up on the cover pump and turn on and off accordingly. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t occasionally check up on your pool. Give technology just a few more decades before you can forget you even have a pool during winter months. We’re working on it.

The prospect of an automatic pump sounding pretty good right now? This Black & Decker 350 GPH Cover Pump can detect up to 1/8 inch of water, all on its own. Don’t worry about clogging—it also features a pre-filter sponge pad. 


GPH (Gallons Per Hour)


The listed GPH of a cover pump indicates how many gallons per hour the pump can displace. If your climate is particularly stormy, you’ll want a more robust cover pump. Don’t worry too much about your energy bill, as a pump with a higher GPH capability also needs to be powered on less often. Your biggest pitfall could be buying a pump that doesn’t work fast enough. You might remember the words “clean up,” “professional,” and “bill” mentioned above. Eek.

Filter Efficiency

Keep in mind that it’s not just clean water your pump needs to move off your pool cover. That water is going to be full of debris like leaves, twigs, and dirt. A weak filter will easily get clogged and stopped in its tracks. Your cover pump should last through the season, and many more to come. And I hate to say it, but it should do its job—and reliably.


Remember, your cover pump is going to be out in the thick of it. Depending on your climate, it might have to endure snow, sleet, rain, wind, and any combinations therein. Most cover pumps are made from thermoplastic, but their design can widely differ. Make sure to buy a pump that is truly built to last.

Seeking the most powerful and durable cover pump on the market? This powerful Sunnora 1500 GPH cover pump earns its name by displacing no less than 1,500 gallons per hour. Since it also has an extra large built in cover guard, you probably won’t even need the one year warranty included.

Whew, All Ordered. Now How Do I Use My Cover Pump?

Now it gets really simple. Most cover pumps are made to attach to a standard garden hose. The other end of the hose can be directed toward wherever you want the mixture of water and debris to go—this is usually somewhere off to the side. Remember, the water will have a mixture of chemicals that you probably don’t want near your favorite plants.


Typically, water on a cover tends to roll to the center of the pool, so place your cover pump there. Just connect it to power and you’re on your way to taking on the storm, stress-free. You might even find that you enjoy the pattering sound of the rain.


This article explains how to use a pool cover pump. Want to know if pool cover pumps are submersible? Know more here.